Attendees from various industries assemble to network, learn, share and discuss the three new ‘C’s in success.
The tenth TiECON East Conference took place from May 29th to May 30th at the Westin in Waltham. For two days, over 600 leaders, Venture Capitalists, Entrepreneurs attended various panel sessions encompassing all aspects of life sciences, technology and India’s growth.
Day One was devoted to fostering entrepreneurship and the debut of a brand new program ‘the Entrepreneur Forum’, which connected VCs with Entrepreneurs in an open setting, and offered mentoring, advice and possible interest in investment. As entrepreneurs attending the forum put it, "This is one of the best and unique events in terms of valuable advice I have ever been to in Boston" and "There is no other event that is designed to interact with VCs/Service Partners in this way”. VCs commented that they were energized by the number of first time entrepreneurs and to see so many new ideas.
The evening ended with an insightful session of successful TiE entrepreneurs sharing their story and the history of their company with their personal challenges.
Platinum Sponsors, Merrill Lynch hosted a well attended Speaker Reception. Raj Sharma, Senior Vice President of Merrill Lynch and Michael Camp from Blackrock addressed TiECON speakers, sponsors and TiE Charter Members in attendance.
On May 30th, a packed crowd listened to the opening ceremony and the keynote address by Alan Rosling, Executive Director of Tata Sons, who spoke about the cornerstone of Tata’s strategy in its global acquisitions. Retaining existing management of acquired companies has been Tata’s philosophy and the key to the success of how they are integrated into the Tata culture, Rosling explained.
The day also had 3 concurrent panels in Life Sciences, Technology and a new track this year on Leveraging India’s Growth.
Global business, cross border M&A’s, new markets, integrating patient-physician ecosystems and the future of health delivery were some of the topics at the Life Sciences track. Speakers from companies like Sermo, Patients like Me, Tranzyme and Harvard Medical School participated.
The panels on Leveraging India’s Growth brought a fresh new perspective to entrepreneurial opportunities in emerging industries in India. While panelists from Adlabs, Pyramid-Saimira Group and Animatix gave an honest and refreshing appraisal of the media industry, its growth and pitfalls, those from Angara and Nanobiosysm spanned the spectrum of running a global business from India to marketing in rural India thus energizing the audience.
Disruptive technologies and their impact on the market and the strategic role that networks play in successful companies were some of the topics discussed in the technology track. The web 2.0 panel, for example, spoke of how social networks are impacting advertising and changing the online interaction between consumers and marketers.
Bob Compton, VC and now film maker, delivered the afternoon keynote address. He spoke about his documentary film ‘2 million minutes’ which compares the educational system of US, India and China on how well each prepares its students to compete in the global market. Compton was very candid about how watching over 1500 hours of TV or training for competitive sports by US high school students would not alone prepare them to face the competition coming from students in India or China. The course of study in Math and Science in these two countries prepares students better at innovating new ideas for the next century. Compton showed a 13 minute clip from the film to make his points to rapt audiences of over 400 in the Eden Vale ballroom.
The highlight of the evening was a lavish banquet dinner where WBZ Meteorologist Mish Michaels as Emcee for the evening kept the audience entertained with her lively conversation. The fireside chat featured Craig Newmark, the quiet, self-effacing founder of the classifieds website Craigslist interviewed by Scott Kirsner, Boston Globe Columnist. An ex-IBM staffer, Craig enthralled the 500 strong audience with his humility and quirky sense of humor constantly referring to himself as a ‘Customer Service Rep’. He fielded questions about recent controversies with élan, while at the same time, coming across as refreshingly honest.
“The conference is the only time when such a large group of attendees gather in one place,” said Kedar Murthy, Marketing Chair. “Attendees get to know one another, make new connections within the industry and discover the latest trends in business.”
This year’s event also encompassed various opportunities for prizes and awards, including the TYE 10K business plan competition for high school students which was won by the RVRTECH team, the blogprenuer awards and a 10th anniversary volunteer recognition award to Satish Dhingra for his 10 years of service to TiE Boston .
“We wanted the theme to resonate with the attendees and it did, as attendees took away not only increased skills, resources, professional contacts and inspiration, but a sense of belonging to a community,” said Ravi Mantha, TiECON Chair.